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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast Andysan's Avatar
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    as newcomers to the industry, what challenges were you faced with in your first job, what problems did you find, how was college different from your first job, and what have you learned since?

    lets start a thread on this, it may help people learning web stuff and want a related job.

    thanx
    Andysan :-)
    "do not despise the snake for having no horns for who is to say it will not become a wise dragon"

  2. #2
    I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack! Fluffykins's Avatar
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    College for me was a nightmare, mainly cos I was on an awful course and I quit it two weeks before the end.

    My first venture into the whole world of work thing was being roped in to replace someone who had called in sick two hours before a training event.

    I was absolutly terrified, but I was only an assistant and didn't actually have to present anything, and the event was on FrontPage 98 which I knew my way around.

    It went well, and I got paid £150 for two days work, which back then was an absolute fortune.

    Then, because it went well I was asked to do more events, started to lead workshops on Image Composer and FrontPage, made contacts with staff and got offered design contracts. From there it just grew.

    I was kinda dupmed in at the deep end, and luckily managed to float.

    My advice to anyone just starting out in a web related job is to take your time, stick to what you're good at and never, ever admit to not knowing something - Say you know it and look it up - within reason of course!

    Don't say you can program ASP perfectly when you can't. But if you're asked 'How do I make this button change colour when the mouse goes over it?' , go away and look it up.

    The ability to learn new things and keep up to date with technology is really important in web-related jobs. You should also stick to what you're good at, don't try and be an expert at every language or programme out there. You'll frazzle your brain.

    Learn other good job skills like communication and delegation too. One key point of web design is getting out of the client / boss what they want. Often they don't know, but you need as clear an idea as possible.

    I've learned that web design isn't all about being able to program in umpteen different languages and being a whiz with Photoshop - it's about time management, creativity, people management skills and above all being open to new ideas and points of view.

    Here endeth my essay.

    Ady
    v-technologies - Freelance Goodness.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast Andysan's Avatar
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    i got into the industry fairly recently, about 1 year ago, i came from a design background, iv been a designer, freelancer, artworker, and bureu technician, over the last 8 years, as far as the web stuff is concerend it was like WHOOOaarr i v got to learn all this? java, flash, dreamweaver, asp, intershop, fireworks, this and that, and some of this, i couldnt belive how itimidating it was,

    I really loved flash, and got it in to it, my flash jobs are improving every time, design wise, and techniques, although, flash scripting, is till a headach for me.

    iv managed to learn alot from forums, here and eleswhere on the net, and it good advice to beginers as well.

    College, didnt teach me anything to be honest, it was basic really basic stuff, design on mac was almost pointless, we learned how many keys wed pressed in 5 mins, ect, pointless.

    i managed to get a job from college, by working FREE!! for an agency, but keeping all work i did in a portfolio, it was hard, but worked after 6 months,

    if YOU want to get in to the industy, it may help to talk to someone who is already 'in' and get some advice.
    Andysan :-)
    "do not despise the snake for having no horns for who is to say it will not become a wise dragon"

  4. #4
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    The college degree I'm seeking (Spanish/Foreign Languages) is completely different from web design, so I can't comment on that end of the question..

    I can, however, tell you that good designers and programmers are hard to come by in the industry. I attended a campus-wide job fair recently, and was offered jobs with 5 different companies, just by mentioning that I was a web designer!

    As someone stated earlier, don't try to become a wizard in every aspect of web development. Experiment with different routes and you will naturally find what you're good at. The good thing about web development is that there is always a place for everyone, no matter what their work background.

    I've been in this industry since ancient times (5+ years ago) , and I've continuously watched the web evolve into something bigger, faster and better. Keep up on current trends but dont embrace every technological advance that comes along.

    I hope this helps any new webmasters-to-be! Good luck in your endeavors!


    Sherice Jacob - Web Improvement Expert
    Improve Website Conversions | eBook Covers
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict Brian Asselin's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Andysan
    as newcomers to the industry, what challenges were you faced with in your first job, what problems did you find, how was college different from your first job, and what have you learned since?

    lets start a thread on this, it may help people learning web stuff and want a related job.

    thanx
    I'm still in college
    I'm going for a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems, with a minor in Business Management. Hopefully it will help and if not I'll be able to do other things

  6. #6
    Idea Developer
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    well my age, people not taking me seriously
    Professional PHP programing / Hosting
    aim: downtoi3iz icq: 74637813

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict Brian Asselin's Avatar
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    Originally posted by necrominator
    well my age, people not taking me seriously
    Why? are you like 7? j/k but seriously I've seen at least a dozen web designers / graphic artists under the age of 15, It seems to be more and more common.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard big_al's Avatar
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    Originally posted by necrominator
    well my age, people not taking me seriously
    Well I do agree with you to a certain extent, but what I have found from experiance is that people might not take your serious at first, but if you persist and show them what you've got they end up listening!
    .NET Code Monkey

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot dkilburn's Avatar
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    So is it just enough to know HTML inside out? Or should you try to add a programming language to the repetoire? Which one(s) are the most useful to learn?

    I guess my question is...what's the next step after HTML?
    Debby Kilburn
    "With computers, everything is possible, but nothing is easy"
    AIM: fourhweb

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast Andysan's Avatar
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    to be honest i dont know html at all really, im a designer at heart, we have a teci guy who deals with all the codey stuff, i know i should get more involved in the stuff, but thats his job not mine, althought i think you teach a designer code, you cant teach a techi design.
    Andysan :-)
    "do not despise the snake for having no horns for who is to say it will not become a wise dragon"

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot thespian's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Fluffykins
    I've learned that web design isn't all about being able to program in umpteen different languages and being a whiz with Photoshop - it's about time management, creativity, people management skills and above all being open to new ideas and points of view.
    Well said Ady!

    Although I am new to Web Development, I have spent most of my life in the Corporate Mainframe environment in positions ranging from trainee programmer through anaylist, project leader right up to IT development manager in the space of 9 years. Now I am a consulant.

    I was in the "computer world" at the time of the IBM PCI (when only a few people had heard of Bill Gates) and when computer departments were known as Data Processing (DP) and not Information Technology (IT) as they are now.

    All this means is that I feel fairly qualified in giving advice to potential job seekers entering the market. If you want to succeed, you need to develop a good reputation. To develop a good reputation you have to have users / clients that believe in you. To achive this, you MUST develop social and other "soft" skills - like presentation (of yourself), communication, service excellence, etc.

    Very often you will need not only to understand what the client is saying, but what he is not saying - but really means! This takes practice - there is no other way!

    So, all you young geniuses out there spending so many hours at your PC's - switch the thing off now & then and get out there and start to mingle with those "imbiceles" in the rest of the world. These are the people that are going to determine your future - get to know them and how they work.

    Coming back to what Ady was saying - although the training that I received related to programing (COBOL - ANSI'74) and structured program design was excellent, the factor that most helped my somewhat meteoric rise in the industry was the people skills I had learnt as an interior designer, selling kitchen units!
    Bill Conté [Protected by Psalm 91]
    Web Mechanix
    Growing OLD is Mandatory - Growing UP is Optional!

  12. #12
    Irritability Defined
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    Actually, I recall reading an article by Jakob Nielsen http://www.useit.com that you'll find graphic designers who can't write clean HTML, and great programmers who can't design for yonks. I think that's quite true for the real world - my background is from HTML/JScript but I had no graphic skills, and I still say I have very little (though most ppl remark that my graphic skills are taking on a cool 'funky' edge... yeah... whatever! LOL )

    In all seriousness though, back to the very original topic that Andy posted : my first job was/is at BiziWorks http://www.biziworks.com.au where I rose from HTML designing to network administration to quality assurance - you name it, I probably did it there.

    Let me also say this much : college/university, where I am (Down Under), is half useless - unless you're actually doing degrees which examine business interaction, communications and procedures (and I'm lucky enough to be doing one of them), then the computer degrees hardly teach you about dealing with other 'imbeciles' as Thespian pointed out. Unfortunately such skills are absolutely imperative in the workplace - I learnt them half on the job, half at uni and thank goodness I did.

    Now, I'm doing this (SP), doing web designing for clients on the side after building up a portfolio (and through word of mouth), and I'm happy. But I won't hesitate to admit that I'm one of the lucky ones.
    My 2 Cents (or is that 2.2 Cents including GST?)


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